Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 42

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Lot 2531

1916 Buffalo Nickel. Doubled die obverse. PCGS graded MS-62. PCGS #06580087. Condition Census. Nicely toned. The date is a very clear double date. Very rare in this grade. Identifiable by a couple of small marks in the hair, one at the top of the head, the other directly below it a few millimeters. This sharply struck coin must rank very high in any Census of finest known examples of this key date early Buffalo nickel variety. Collectors, when they refer to it as a doubled date, should more properly realize that much more than the date is doubled, bold as the feature may be. A strong double impression of all four digits in the date is visible to the naked eye, and in addition, magnification reveals that the Indian's chin, throat and feathers are also strongly doubled.

This obverse exhibits sleek nickel gray color with a blush of blue iridescence to it, nice and original in its smooth balanced appearance. The reverse is similar but with some additional golden color near the lower left edge, all this highlighting the crisp detail of the design. Legends are bold throughout, including the little motto E PLURIBUS UNUM at upper right. Interest in this historic minting error has launched like a moon-shot since it was first published in the Guide Book of United States Coins. Walter Breen assigned it its own number in his Complete Encyclopedia in 1988. Breen noted, ''Ex. rare. usually in low grades.'' This brief statement is echoed in the major grading services' census figures. PCGS has encapsulated more than 100 examples but only a few were in Mint State: NGC has handled more than half that number of examples, but again only a handful in Mint State. This enticing piece must be near the top in terms of aesthetic appeal and future appreciation by numismatists, young and old! Pop 3; 2 finer in 64 (PCGS # 3931) .

Historic note: The Mint finally addressed some of the Buffalo nickel's basic design deficiencies beginning this year. A new obverse hub was used exclusively for 1916 and all subsequent dates. The word LIBERTY was more deeply incised, eliminating its tendency to blend with the coin's field.
Estimated Value $130,000 - 140,000.

Realized $163,300

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